Old Blundell's School, Tiverton, Devon

Record ID:  100278 / MNA105803
Record type:  Building
Protected Status: Listed Building: Grade I
NT Property:  Old Blundell's School; South West
Civil Parish:  Tiverton; Mid Devon; Devon
Grid Reference:  SS 9578 1248
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Old Blundell's School, built 1604, now accommodation

Identification Images (0)

Monument Types

  • SCHOOL (Built, Early 17th C to Unknown - 1604 AD)
  • GARDEN (Early 17th C to Unknown - 1604 AD)


The School was given to the NT with 3 acres in 1954 by the Governors of the school with aid from the Pilgrim Trust and The Goldsmiths' Company.

There were two school rooms, the higher being 17m x 7.5m and the lower being 15m x 7.5m. These were separated by a passage of about 2m width which led to the under-masters quarters. The roof appears to be a copy of the chapel roof of Frithelstock Abbey near Torrington. It is surmounted by a cupola and bell, which various sources attribute to the date 1840 or 1740. It replaces and earlier bell and cupola of 1613. The school rooms each have a porch opening into the Green. Above the door is the inscription 'P. 1604 B.' a reference to the clothier Peter Blundell who was the school's benefactor. Another porch leads to a dining hall, almost 11m long, and at the end of the building are the headmaster's rooms. The Green is walled around, enclosed by iron gates (100074) which replaced wooden gates that were removed in 1695. At this time the porters' lodges were erected and the green was planted with lime trees. Inside the fllors and wainscoats were removed in 1773. There is a tradition that some of the wood in the construction of the the school rooms came from the wrecks of the Spanish Armada, a dozen or so years before the school was built, but this is unlikely to be the case. Modifications again occurred in 183607, though not changing the basic structure of the scholl, and in 1844 an oak floor replaced the stone paving of the dining hall.
Two names can be mentioned in connection with Blundell's School. Samuel Wesley, brother of John Wesley, and renowned in his own right for his contribution to ecclesiatical music, was headmaster of Blundell's from 1734 until 1743. He is buried nearby in St George's Churchyard. John Heathcoat, the owner of Knightshayes Court in the latter half of the 19th century is mentioned in the Blundell's records as having been one of the 'relators' opposed to the feoffees' traditional rules about boarders, and a leading light of what some commentators termed the "newer elements of the Manchester world" who sought progressive policies at the school.


  • SZB52312 - National Trust Report: The National Trust. 1984. Old Blundell's School, Devon. 1984.

  • SZB52313 - Article in serial: Amery P.F.S. Amery, P.F.S. 1900-1901. A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete. 1.

  • SZB52314 - Bibliographic reference: Harding W. Lt Col. 1847. History of Tiverton. 2,.

  • SZB52315 - Article in monograph: Mahood, A.S.. 1947-1949. Concerning Blundell's School. 23.

  • SZB52316 - Article in monograph: Mahood, A.S.. 1947-1949. An Obscure Point in the History of Blundell's School. 23.

  • SZB52317 - Article in serial: Mahood, A.S. 1952. Some Notes on Blundell's School. 84.


Other Statuses and References

  • HER/SMR Reference (External): SS91SE-047

Associated Events

  • ENA227 - Field Survey, The National Trust Archaeological Survey

Associated Finds

None Recorded

Related Records

  • Related to: Gate and Porters Lodges, Old Blundell's School, Tiverton, Devon (Building) - 100074 / MNA105804
  • Related to: Possible buried remains of building under The Green, Old Blundell's School, Tiverton, Devon (Monument) - 100130 / MNA105805